Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bye-bye, Keith Olbermann

Numerous sources have confirmed the news: MSNBC's odious hatemonger, Keith Olbermann, has gotten the boot, almost simultaneously with the news that Comcast has swallowed NBC-Universal, the former GE unit that owned TV's most pathetic cable network.

For those not into media history: MSNBC was retooled a number of years ago into a pure-play, left wing propaganda arm, sort of like its defunct radio fellow traveller, Air America. And for many years, Olbermann was the network's "star," spewing out predictable leftist rants and smears regardless of the facts. Lefties smacked their collective lips as they devoured this political red meat (even though many of them were and are confirmed vegans).

Meanwhile, MSNBC's primary emphasis on feeding the left's collective BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) seamlessly morphed over the last couple of years into PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome). But nothing really distinguished the joint, whose gutter-level, unsupported-by-the-facts vitriol toward all things non-"progressive"--i.e., socialist--continued unabated, whatever its current target.

AP profiles Olbermann's unceremonious axing in an obsequious article extolling his popularity among viewers--never mentioning the fact that neither his nor MSNBC's viewership has ever even come close to matching that of the much-reviled Fox cable news channel.

Lacking details, I'd have to assume that MSNBC is in for some kind of retooling, and Olbermann's head is the first to roll. Comcast, like all good megacapitalist entities, is going to want to start showing profits at its newly-purchased properties, and MSNBC's ratings, regardless of your political point of view, were and are consistently at the bottom of the tank--hardly a way to make money. Perhaps their solution to this problem is similar to the one hit upon by the character Cher Horowitz in the film "Clueless": "Makeover!" And Olbie was sure a good place to start, sending what would appear to be a very distinct message.

In point of fact, in a media world still almost entirely dominated by left-liberal pundits, writers, commentators, editorialists, and other assorted fellow travelers, MSNBC ultimately has fallen into the same trap as Air America--they had nothing really new to offer the general public, besides, perhaps, an elevated level of vitriol and hatred for anyone not associated with their elitist clique of wealthy faux socialists. So even the left (save for the aforementioned metaphorical meat-eaters) generally didn't bother with them. (And don't tell me I'm wrong, because the inconvenient truth is in the the network's cellar-dweller Neilsens.)

Nope, nothing new to see here. Same old, same old, albeit with slightly more colorful packaging. That market has been saturated for decades, so who needs more? Most particularly, who needs more red ink in a still-wretched economy? Not Comcast, that's for sure.

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